In 2017 the Amsterdam based studio Guerrilla Games released their first new IP since 2004: Horizon Zero Dawn. It is a huge departure from the Killzone franchise the studio is most famous for. Taking place in a beautiful and magnificent post-post-apocalyptic environment, it follows a young woman called Aloy on her quest to discover the mysteries of the world and her own past. During her quest, Aloy encounters the sprawling wildlife that has recaptured earth. However these creatures are different from animals; They are machines created to maintain the fragile ecosystem of this new world. Some of them friendly, others are hostile but all look and behave similar to their living counterparts.
The 'machines', as they are simply referred to, are a huge part of the game and its unique setting. Even before the game released I fell in love with their designs and animations. After I finished the game I knew I wanted to recreate some of my favourites with LEGO® bricks.
The Sawtooth was the first machine of Horizon Zero Dawn I tackled after the game released. When deciding which machine to build first I remembered a pivotal moment in Aloy's story.
"I didn't bring you here to answer questions, Aloy. I brought you here to deal with that."
"This hunt is yours to make, Aloy - yours alone. No matter what happens, I will not intervene."
Returning to All-Mother
I first visited Guerrilla Games in 2017 shortly after Horizon Zero Dawn had launched to bring them the LEGO® Thunderjaw I created. In the following two years, I managed to build four more of the iconic machines: The Sawtooth, the Corruptor, the Shell-Walker and the Watcher. Thanks to the amazing Community Team at Guerrilla Games and the studios managing director Hermen Hulst, all of the builds have a new home at the studio.
The team has taken an incredibly bold step with Horizon Zero Dawn, a game fundamentally different from their previous Killzone games. And I am very glad they did. The world and the machines of Horizon Zero Dawn have fascinated me since I saw the very first trailer and I loved to hear from the team, what aspects of the game were intentional, coincidental or sheer bad luck (very similar to building LEGO® in that regard). After all the hard work they put into creating this world, it is wonderful to see that it is being so warmly received and inspires so many fan creations. I am honoured to be among the fans of the game and to have had the opportunity to personally thank the developers for making it all possible.
The models I created from Horizon Zero Dawn still rank high among my list of favourites. They required a lot of patience and creative problem solving to get them right and each time I received incredible feedback from Hermen and the team. I probably would not have tackled more difficult motives in LEGO® would it have not been for their encouragement and love for fan art. And as Horizon Zero Dawn opened a new chapter for Guerrilla Games, the inspiration it gave me defined my love for LEGO® building in a new way and I am very grateful for that.